“ The race was the first solo transatlantic outing for Renken, and as somewhat of a solo sailing novice, her endeavour and courage was rewarded when she crossed the finish line off Sandy Hook. ”
There are only a small group of professional solo sailors in the world prepared to take on the challenge of The Transat bakerly, and today at 04:49 BST, Germany’s Anna-Maria Renken aboard her Class40 Nivea, became the only female sailor to complete the 3,050 mile course from Plymouth to New York this year.
The race was the first solo transatlantic outing for Renken, and as somewhat of a solo sailing novice, her endeavour and courage was rewarded when she crossed the finish line off Sandy Hook after 21 days, 13 hours, 19 minutes and 25 seconds at sea.
Today, Renken realises her dream of crossing the Atlantic, bringing her one step closer to competing in the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2018. She completed the course 4 days, 36 minutes and 29 seconds behind the Class40 winner, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus aboard Solidaires en Peloton-Arsep.
Upon touching dry land in Brooklyn, Renken commented: “There are two things that really strike you. The effect on me of crossing the Atlantic single hanged is hard to describe if you haven’t done it before. And the second thing, is arriving in to New York at night. It is overwhelming. You spend weeks and days at sea and suddenly you see the skyline, the skyscrapers. It’s crazy.”
Commenting on her first solo Atlantic race, she continued: “I felt more comfortable than I expected. For the first day I was busy sorting me! I was very vigilant, checking every little corner of the boat every day, and eventually I stopped, and I trusted in the boat. It is very well built and very strong, but still you need to be so careful you are tired. You go through the whole spectrum of emotions.”
10 Class40s set sail from Plymouth on May 2nd, and Renken is the sixth to make it to New York. The Class40 fleet arguably had the toughest, and most tightly fought, race, as they tackled, successively, periods of big headwinds and ferocious seas and then areas of lighter winds. In the end, the punishing pace took its toll on the fleet, with three forced to retire before making it to the Big Apple. As Renken crossed the finish line, Japan’s Hiroshi Kitada aboard Kiho, was the sole remaining competitor, 160 miles from New York.
During her time at sea, Renken covered a total of 3,995nm, with an average speed of 5.90 knots.